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View Full Version : Wilson 870 - Is it worth $1000


kennethlee
July 14, 2012, 05:39 PM
I was just down at the local gun shop and they have a like new Wilson Combat 12 gauge. It's the Standard which is a dressed up Remington 870.

See it here: http://wilsoncombat.com/new/shotgun-standard.asp

It sells for $1540 new and I could get this one for $1000. Still a lot of money but a beautiful and very set up home defense gun.

Any opinions out there to help me decide?

Thanks.

--Ken

Dfariswheel
July 14, 2012, 06:45 PM
The Wilson guns are built on the rougher finished Express model.
I personally think they're over priced for what you get considering the Express base.

For probably less money you could get a brand new top of the line Remington 870 Police model with the same general set up:

http://www.remingtonle.com/shotguns/870synthetic.htm

Creeper
July 14, 2012, 06:46 PM
Yeah... it's a pricy 870, but Wilson does a nice job. It's more than just a bunch of accessories, Wilson does a bit of work on the action.
It'll be the slickest 870 you'll ever operate, and they tend to hold their value after the first depreciation. Offer 'em $850 and see what happens. ;)

Cheers,
C

LockedBreech
July 14, 2012, 06:59 PM
A sub-$500 870 or 590A1 will get you a world-class combat shotgun. I can't really see spending $1k on a pump gun. An auto, sure.

kennethlee
July 14, 2012, 07:36 PM
It's all good information, thanks.

It does seem a bit of a high end shotgun. As Creeper said, it does have a really nice action. I've owned an 870 and the action on this is a bit more refined.

I have a Wilson 1911 and have regularly lusted over the shotguns. Maybe I should make an $850 offer. That seems a good approach. You have convinced me that a thousand is too much considering the other options on the market.

Thanks.
--ken

oneounceload
July 14, 2012, 08:29 PM
If YOU think it is worthwhile to YOU, then get it

Whether it means the same to me or others is irrelevant

Enjoy your new gun

Creeper
July 14, 2012, 08:31 PM
If YOU think it is worthwhile to YOU, then get it

And there ya' go. You only got you to please Ken.

Enjoy,
C

NYCShooter
July 14, 2012, 08:47 PM
The Wilson guns are built on the rougher finished Express model.
I personally think they're over priced for what you get considering the Express base.

For probably less money you could get a brand new top of the line Remington 870 Police model with the same general set up:

http://www.remingtonle.com/shotguns/870synthetic.htm

The "top of the line Remington 870 Police" is nothing more than an Express with a better finish and $30 of easily replaced parts. It is one of the greatest marketing jobs Remington has ever done. If you are interested, I will be happy to precisely list the differences between the two.

NYCShooter
July 14, 2012, 09:05 PM
Yeah... it's a pricy 870, but Wilson does a nice job. It's more than just a bunch of accessories, Wilson does a bit of work on the action.
It'll be the slickest 870 you'll ever operate, and they tend to hold their value after the first depreciation. Offer 'em $850 and see what happens.

I agree. At $1,000 it might be a bit pricey, but $850 is a good deal. The SF forend alone retails for over $300, the Wilson extension is $45, the Mesa sidesaddle is $60, the Wilson big safety is $15, the Speedfeed stock is probably about $75, plus the sling. That is not counting the work they do on the action. In addition, the Armor-Tuff finish is one of the best on the market. I paid Wilson $250 to Armor-Tuff a shotgun of mine and I can tell you that the gun will never rust.

azsixshooter
July 14, 2012, 10:26 PM
I love Wilson Combat stuff and that would be a sweet shotty to own. But unless you are well-trained already I would venture to suggest that your money might be better spent on something like a $500 Remington Tactical 870 and $500 of ammo to start out with! You could always later sell that one and graduate to something like a Wilson Combat after you've become proficient. Of course if money is no object then I would say grab that Wilson, pattern it and go take a combat shotgun course at Gunsite or Thunder Ranch or anywhere you can make it to.

m.p.driver
July 14, 2012, 11:05 PM
If it was a Benelli semi I'd say go for it,but i have a problem paying that much for an 870,no matter whats been done to it.And before people start screaming 870 hater i have five in the safe.My favorite is an old Wells Fargo trade-in that i gave $89 for,and has ridden many a mile next to me.

NYCShooter
July 14, 2012, 11:23 PM
before people start screaming 870 hater

870 hater :D

Gats Italian
July 15, 2012, 01:07 AM
If it was a Benelli semi I'd say go for it,but i have a problem paying that much for an 870,no matter whats been done to it

Amen. There's never been an 870 made or modified worth $1k, unless the money was put into the wood stocks.

Edward429451
July 15, 2012, 02:38 AM
Go find a used Wingmaster and then put an 18" police trade in barrel on it, and some accessories and you'll still have change left over. WM are buttery smooth.

giaquir
July 15, 2012, 06:36 AM
No 870 is worth $1k,
my God it's a shotgun nothing else.
All that "hype add on stuff" aint gonna help
you one bit in shotgun range.

PJR
July 15, 2012, 07:37 AM
The value of any shotgun from the lowliest single-shot to the fanciest double gun is a combination of the cost of the component parts and value of the time and talent of the people who made the gun.

Sure you can slap on the same parts as Wilson for less but how does the potential buyer know that the person who did the work knew what he was doing? Backyard Bubbas abound while Wilson has earned a reputation for competent work. What you are paying extra for is the time, talent and experience of the people who modified the gun.

Whether that is worth it to you is up to you. But don't let the people who understand price more than value deter you from buying a gun that while expensive compared to a stock gun has been improved by people who know what they are doing and have proven it.

redrick
July 15, 2012, 08:28 AM
If it has all the options you want on it and none that you don't want, then I would say it is worth the price. If not build your own.

Gats Italian
July 15, 2012, 10:18 AM
The value of any shotgun from the lowliest single-shot to the fanciest double gun is a combination of the cost of the component parts and value of the time and talent of the people who made the gun.

Yes, and in this case, Wilson has chosen some really crummy component parts, (e.g. the choice of base gun). Besides, nothing, absolutely nothing, can be done about the location of the 870 Express' action release or its port blocking shell lifter.

If Wilson located old Winchester Model 12 shotguns in the bottom end of their price range and remade them into modern and/or reproduction trench guns, with GI or in house crafted improvements, as they do for Remington's worst effort, $1k or more would be easily justifiable. Putting spit and polish on an 870 Express is still lipsticking a pig into a combat shotgun.

Sure you can slap on the same parts as Wilson for less but how does the potential buyer know that the person who did the work knew what he was doing? Backyard Bubbas abound while Wilson has earned a reputation for competent work. What you are paying extra for is the time, talent and experience of the people who modified the gun.

Whether that is worth it to you is up to you. But don't let the people who understand price more than value deter you from buying a gun that while expensive compared to a stock gun has been improved by people who know what they are doing and have proven it.

There's a reason posters are encouraging the OP to ask about $850. That's where the value of "competence time" meets that talent being unleashed upon such a poorly made, finished, and Cerebus Group cheapened, base gun.

For instance, none of Wilson's packages purport to replace the 870 Express' MIM extractor and ejector or to replace the plastic trigger plate and other trigger group parts that are made from aluminum on higher end 870 models.

Al Den
July 15, 2012, 10:46 AM
If that 870 is reliable it may be worth it. If ya got the cash it sounds like a relative bargain, no? Otherewise, for a current 870, even a Police, I wouldn't pay half that.I do not trust them and low price doesn't fix poor reliability.

The 500/590 series' are a whole different thing -- I think they are underpriced myself...

sm
July 15, 2012, 11:19 AM
Dfariswheel and I are on the same page.
Unless one finds a good used Police model of course...

jmortimer
July 15, 2012, 01:08 PM
My 870 will only come from AIP Tactical and the model I like is $520.00
http://aiptactical.com/Basic_I.php

oneounceload
July 15, 2012, 05:58 PM
No 870 is worth $1k,
my God it's a shotgun nothing else.
All that "hype add on stuff" aint gonna help
you one bit in shotgun range.

And to YOU that might be true to someone else, it might not be

VALUE has NOTHING to do with only price, but it is a combination of price, quality, components, time, immediate gratification, etc.

If it was strictly price, NO ONE would pay $1.49 for a bottle of water while traveling at the C store - but at THAT moment, it has a value to that person - same with guns

Just because YOU wouldn't spend the money doesn't mean others don't look at it as a great deal for them and their circumstances

kennethlee
July 15, 2012, 07:23 PM
Good posts everyone. It's all helpful, just what I asked for. Oneounceload and Creeper's posts resonate well with me. Probably because it's as they say, I like this gun.

I have a Benelli semiauto and a 625 Citori for hunting and love them both for the right application. At $850 this gun would be worth it to me.

Thanks.

--ken

NYCShooter
July 16, 2012, 12:50 AM
Yes, and in this case, Wilson has chosen some really crummy component parts, (e.g. the choice of base gun).

Almost every custom 870 builder chooses the Express as their base gun, because it's virtually the same gun as the Police. Keep drinking the Kool-aid.

There's a reason posters are encouraging the OP to ask about $850. That's where the value of "competence time" meets that talent being unleashed upon such a poorly made, finished, and Cerebus Group cheapened, base gun.

For instance, none of Wilson's packages purport to replace the 870 Express' MIM extractor and ejector or to replace the plastic trigger plate and other trigger group parts that are made from aluminum on higher end 870 models.

Again, the Express is virtually the same gun as the "higher end 870 models".

To begin with, there is no ejector upgrade, as you suggest, because all 870's use the same ejector. So, let's go through the actual differences between the Express and the "higher end models":

Here is the deal with the Police vs. the Express (and I have owned and built several of each).

Generally, out of the box, the Police will have a smoother action, as they are finished a little better. This can easily be remedied with 0000 steel wool and shooting, over time: no big deal to me, although others may differ on how important this is to them. Wilson finishes the gun superbly.

The following are the ONLY internal parts that are different between the Express and the Police:

1. The trigger housing on the Police is pressed metal, that on the Express is polymer - advantage Express, as the polymer trigger housing is known to be more durable (ask any Remington armorer). I have bent a few Police guards, but have never damaged an Express guard. Note: I have recently learned that some of the newer P guns are now also using the polymer trigger guards.

2. The extractor on the Police is forged, the Express is MIM. Upgrade the extractor: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=10745/Product/EXTRACTOR Cost $14.99 (I always replace the extractor, but have never seen a MIM extractor break on an Express).

3. The Police has a stronger carrier dog follower spring than the Express. This is also an easily upgrade: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=10763/Product/CARRIER-LATCH-SPRINGIt is listed as a carrier latch spring for the 1100 and 11-87, but this is the correct spring used in the Police. Cost $4.84 The interesting thing is that Remington charges the same for either spring (the P is black, and that is the only way to tell them apart). So why doesn't Remington use the same spring in both guns? Marketing.

4. The Police uses a stronger magazine spring on the 6+1 versions (I believe that both 4+1 versions now use the same spring). Purchase a new spring from Wolff: http://www.gunsprings.com/Rifles%20%26%20Shotguns/REMINGTON/870,%20878,%2011-48,%20SPT-48,%20SPT-58/cID2/mID108/dID216#606 Cost $8.99 The Wilson extension comes standard with the Wolff spring.

5. Sear spring - As of several years ago both versions now use the identical spring (the one from the Express).

Those three, easily replaced parts cost about $30 and are the only differences that matter between the Express and the Police; the rest is simply marketing. Most of the custom 870 builders, such as Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, and AI&P Tactical use the 870 Express platform because it is basically the same gun at a lower cost.

Gats Italian, get your facts straight, sir.

Gats Italian
July 16, 2012, 08:28 AM
First of all, I wasn't saying you get a better extractor or ejector in a higher end 870 like the Police, which is a Remington marketing gimmick, you get a forged set of those parts in the Wingmaster.

Rather than "virtually being the same gun," the real reason to use the Express, is the maximization of profit. It's rougher, already has a fit and finish level easy to improve upon, and it was built to a low price point.

What I was saying is that instead of upgrading the cheap parts, which would be their standard approach on a 1911, Wilson's shotgun approach largely consists of slapping on aftermarket parts and slipping in one improved magazine spring, coating the rougher Express and shipping it out with an extreme markup.

BigJimP
July 16, 2012, 11:27 AM
Yes, I think most anything Wilson Combat touches ...makes it a better gun that it was to start with.

I have a few of their 1911's ...and if I wanted a tactical pump gun / I'd go with a Wilson Combat upgraded 870. If I wanted a semi-auto tactical shotgun - I'd go with the Benelli M-4.

Lee Lapin
July 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
It's not worth it to me, $1000 will buy four or five of the 870s I prefer - which are older Express guns. 870s are so modular it's easy to set them up pretty much however you want with relatively few skills/tools.

But if it's worth it to YOU - go for it.

jmorris
July 16, 2012, 01:36 PM
I've shot them before, actually placed first over all at the 2009 IDPA nationals shotgun side match with one. Nice but not $1000 nice, better stuff out there for that amount of money.

NYCShooter
July 16, 2012, 03:12 PM
First of all, I wasn't saying you get a better extractor or ejector in a higher end 870 like the Police, which is a Remington marketing gimmick, you get a forged set of those parts in the Wingmaster.

The ejector is the same, as I said. The extractor on the Wingmaster and Police is forged. As I said, I always replace the MIM extractor on an 870, even though I have never seen one fail. I do not consider this a marketing gimmick.

Rather than "virtually being the same gun," the real reason to use the Express, is the maximization of profit. It's rougher, already has a fit and finish level easy to improve upon, and it was built to a low price point.

Other than a few, easily replaceable parts, the level of finish (internally and externally) on the Wingmaster (and, to a lesser extent, the Police) is the difference between the guns. Remington marketing is the reason that they have been able to create a large price differential between the Express and the Wingmaster and Police, which are all virtually the same gun.

What I was saying is that instead of upgrading the cheap parts, which would be their standard approach on a 1911, Wilson's shotgun approach largely consists of slapping on aftermarket parts and slipping in one improved magazine spring, coating the rougher Express and shipping it out with an extreme markup.

As I have said, the two parts that Wilson does not upgrade, the extractor and carrier dog follower spring, can be replaced for $19 (if one chooses to do so). What Wilson adds to the gun, in addition to the third-party accessories, is a level of finish, worked-over action, and a coating that is second to none. Wilson does not simply "coat a rough Express and ship it out". In the case of the OP, I think that the gun, plus the cost of the added components, plus the work that Wilson does to the gun is worth $850. As usual YMMV.

Gats Italian
July 16, 2012, 04:35 PM
I agree it's worth $850 the debate here, as it were, is it worth the MSRP, the "normal" street price, or even a grand. The consensus seems to be that it is not. Please note that the OP has not been offered to buy the specimen at $850.00, but at $1k.

Gats Italian
July 16, 2012, 05:11 PM
Whoops. Double tapped.

Dave McC
July 17, 2012, 01:48 PM
Gotta admit this thread leaves me a little puzzled.

I've put at least 50K shells through my various 870s and oodles more through agency weapons. Total new parts, 2 firing pin springs, both in one 870TB, a well used and cherished trap gun.

I see people here talk about replacing MIM parts with forged ones, but I DO NOT SEE THEM SAYING THE OLD ONES FAILED.

What's the truth? Are you replacing perfectly good parts on a suppostion?

jmortimer
July 17, 2012, 03:11 PM
^ Generally, I would agree, but when your life is on the line a couple inexpensive parts will increase reliability - i.e. the "Police" grade. A few extra dollars is well worth it - which is why I would only buy an 870 from AIP tactical, for less $$$ than a "P" grade 870. Here is explaintation from their web site:

"All AI&P Tactical shotguns are built on the Remington 870. I will not build on anything else as I am a Remington Factory Certified Law Enforcement Armorer, certified on the 870 Police and 11-87-Police and will not build nor even work on other weapons as I am not certified on them. Except for the models built on the Police receivers all AI&P Tactical Shotguns are the same. All are built on new Remington 870 magnum receivers. We bead blast them and parkerize them. We upgrade the trigger groups and bolt. the bolt on the Express model and the blot on the P model are the exact same bolt, same matte finish and all the same parts except for the extractor. I change the extractor to the solid steel one that comes on the P model and thus a P model bolt. The trigger groups are on a polymer housing or you can upgrade to cast but all have the same internal parts. I have found the polymer to be completely durable and stays cleaner internally. I have the polymer housing on all of my weapons as do all my employees."

jmortimer
July 17, 2012, 03:32 PM
Deleted

NYCShooter
July 17, 2012, 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by Scattergun Bob
Here you go. This is a list to upgrade express 870's, please read it carefully.


Perhaps you missed my earlier post...

Creeper
July 17, 2012, 05:14 PM
Hey "kennethlee"... havin' fun yet, or did you already unsubscribe? :rolleyes:

Cheers,
C

TheNatureBoy
July 17, 2012, 05:27 PM
For me, absolutely not! For you ???????? Your money, your decision.

Dave McC
July 18, 2012, 01:56 PM
J, how do you improve reliability on something that has never broken?

jmortimer
July 18, 2012, 02:52 PM
Really not much to "argue" about. An 870 Express will work for a long time as you know based on your extensive experience. The up-grade parts can be had for around $50.00 and per AIP, wth the upgrades: "I don't know the life expectancy of one of these weapons as I have never seen one worn out if cared for properly." I am no expert and would only reiterate what Scattergun Bob and AIP Tactical recommend. Accordng to Mr. Scattergun,

"I still have a unfired 870P in the safe and recently I hauled it down to the shop to compare with some express HD guns that came in. After examining both side by side my original thoughts STILL stand, you get what you pay for and there is a difference in fit, finish and quality between the 870P and the 870 express regardless of what name Remington packages the Express by."

and

"In closing let me remind you that I am in the personal protection business and am addressing the Express as a defense weapon. If it is a hunting gun, we can be more forgiving of the above mentioned parts."

AIP site says:

" I love building weapons for you guys but I would be remiss if I did not tell you this. If money is tight and you need an Remington 870 for protection or duty. Go to any Gun shop or Sporting goods store and buy a Remington 870 Home Defense model # 25077. It will come with a Remington LE 2 round extension, bead sight barrel with a fixed Cyl Bore choke. It is the best value and best made out there. It is 100% dependable and you can trust it with your life..............Latter when you are in a better financial situation you can send it to me and I will parkerize it, upgraded it with the few police parts and even upgrade some of the accessories if you want. You will then have a weapon that performs the same as the Remington 870 Police."

Dave McC
July 19, 2012, 01:57 PM
Oh, were we arguing?

Having those "Upgraded" parts may be more of a placebo than an actual advantage, IMO. However, if someone wants to pay their money for those parts, have at it. There are certainly worse things to do to a shotgun.

And someone will be along on this board and mayhap this thread waxing poetic about those worse things any minute.

On reflection, since most of the 870s here are old to quite old WMs, maybe I have a skewed view of what to expect from a new 870.

Al Den
July 19, 2012, 05:24 PM
Lots o'people upgrade things that haven't broken yet just to make them more reliable. I like car analogies. Some people check Edmunds or Consumer Reports and buy more reliable ones from the start, just for example. I wouldn't buy a Yugo, Renault or Land Rover. Need shotgun-specific examples?

I wouldn't buy a new Remington 870... I have replaced the safety switch on a Mossberg 500 with a metal one out-of-the-box...

jmortimer
July 19, 2012, 06:18 PM
"Oh, were we arguing?"
No - you are way ahead of me on this topic.

collector rob
July 20, 2012, 12:02 PM
If you are wanting an 870, here is a great deal on a police trade-in.

http://www.sportsmansoutdoorsuperstore.com/category.cfm/sportsman/used-firearms

I would personally buy one of these. You can buy any accessories you want for it, refinish it, and still be ahead money-wise. They are currently out of stock but are expected in soon.

However if you just have to have a Wilson, and can afford it go right ahead!:D

Dave McC
July 20, 2012, 02:43 PM
Maybe, J, I've had a lot of time to think this out.

If the OP's query was, "does it take $1000 bucks to get a great defensive shotgun?", my answer would be heck,no. I'm sure you would agree.

As for the NEED for those parts, I've yet to see a verifiable instance of the MIM ones failing. Maybe they do and the government keeps hushing it up.

{Sarcasm Off}....

oneounceload
July 20, 2012, 04:03 PM
I wouldn't buy a new Remington 870.

THAT would depend on which one now, wouldn't it?....;)